The information retention challenge for millennials is an age-old problem that has only gotten worse in the past decade. The reason for this is simple: the rise of technology has made it easier for us to access whatever information we need, but harder for us to keep it all in our heads. The same was proved by a survey of 1000 men and women in the US which showed that almost half of the participants of the age group of 16-55 perceives smartphone as a substitute for their mind. (source)
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For millennials—and everyone else—to keep up with the pace of change in today’s business world, they need strategies like those outlined below to stay productive while still having fun!
But before learning how to retain information better, let’s delve into the meaning of Information Retention and its need.
What is Information Retention?
Information retention is the process of storing and maintaining information over time. The need for retaining arises from the fact that information is often needed for long-term purposes such as historical record keeping, legal compliance, or research. Ideally, there are many different methods of information retention, ranging from simple file storage to more complex data management systems.
Continuously increasing information usage and information overloading due to social media is mandating the need for information retention. Hence, to save oneself from the harsh consequences of information overloading, it’s viable to understand the actual need for information retention.
Need for information retention
Millennials have to remember everything from the reviews they got on their submissions to summarizing a long list of documents into one, so they must know how to prioritize and organize their notes, reports, and other written materials.
They need to be able to pull up those materials quickly when needed so they can get back on task. And they also need to be able to use these materials when collaborating with others by sharing them or giving them away as PDFs or other digital files that can be easily shared or accessed by multiple people at once!
All of such amalgamation of information leads to Information Overload for them. Know more about Overload and How to deal with it here. Here’s a detailed breakdown of media usage per day by millennials.
This infographic clearly portrays that millennials use varied information in different formats through various mediums. Such a complex information consumption pattern requires the need for Information retention for millennials.
According to a recent study by the Society for Industrial and Organisational Psychology (SIOP), millennials are among the biggest information-retention challenges in business today. The study found that millennials are less likely than other generations to retain information. In fact, only about half of millennials claim to be able to remember more than two pieces of information after seven days. Compare this with baby boomers who report that they can remember three or more pieces of information after seven days, and even Gen Xers who can recall up to four pieces of information in the same time frame.
The report also showed that while there are many reasons why this might be happening, most likely it has to do with the way technology is changing our brains: “Millennials have been raised in an era when technology is all around them,” said author John Jantsch, Ph.D., associate professor at SIOP-ASAP. “They’re used to multitasking and being connected 24/7, so it’s natural for them to assume they need all kinds of help remembering things.”
How to conquer Information Retention?
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There are several different ways in which information can be retained, such as using databases, spreadsheets, or even physical filing systems. What’s interesting to know is that there’s nothing such as “The best way to retain information”, it just requires a few conscious and continuous efforts for retaining information for the long term.
Here are a few strategies that you can use to improve your information retention:
Repeat the information:
Repeating the information that you want to remember can help you commit it to memory. Because reputation makes the brain more alert about the information provided. As a result, it can be retained for a longer time. Here’s a three-step process that will help you a great way in retaining information through reputation
- Repeat it to yourself multiple times
- Write it down, and then
- Discuss it with others.
Use mnemonic devices:
Mnemonic devices are techniques that help you remember information by associating it with something else that is easier to remember. For example, you could use the acronym VIBGYOR to remember the colors of the rainbow (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet). This helps you in remembering complex sets of data quickly and innovatively.
Create mental associations:
Try to connect the new information with something you already know. This can help you better understand and remember the information. So, even if you forget the main information, the associated information will help you recall it with the help of association.
Practice spaced repetition:
Reviewing the information at spaced intervals can help you commit it to long-term memory. For example, you could review the information the day after you first learned it, then a week later, and then a month later.
Taking breaks can help your brain process and retain information better. Consider taking a break after you learn something new and then come back to it later to review. Here’s how taking a break can help you with retaining information:
- Gives room to absorb what you just learned.
- Rests your brain from juggling between different sets of information.
- Avoids mixing contrary concepts, and
- Provides clarity on the subject matter discussed.
Use memory aids:
Memory aids such as flashcards, diagrams, and charts can help you organize and remember information. Indeed, pictorial representation is a much better way to remember data and helps in retaining it for longer times.
|Remember this:||With the help of this:|
|A complex process||Through a diagram|
|Past data and analytics||Through Charts and Graphs|
|Confusing dates and years||Sticky notes on your wardrobe|
|A difficult concept||Sharing it with others|
Minimizing distractions while you are trying to learn new information can help you focus and retain the information better. Consider keeping mobile phones and other distraction sources out of sight while working or studying.
The bottom line
Undoubtedly, the need for information retention has led to the development of various storage media and archival methods. Businesses can choose from a variety of storage options, including on-site storage, off-site storage, as well as cloud storage. The type of storage option that is best for a particular business will depend on factors such as the type of information being stored, the amount of space available, and the budget. It would’ve been a task for organizations to cater to all these factors if not for an all-in-one “Personal Knowledge Management” (PKM) called Pluaris.
Pluaris is a comprehensive and all-in-one Knowledge Management tool by Nowigence which is an innovative Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) company that works exclusively in pioneering AI and Data-Science backed products. With Pluaris, it’s exploring the data science industry by developing a product that is a one-stop solution for everything related to information. It performs everything from information extraction and information retention to information processing with the help of automatic machine-learning technologies.